There were lots of shape changing games on Saturday, with the requisite vaporization of the pretenders, frauds, impostors, knaves, mountebanks, pimps and rounders.
But because the Top 25 More Or Less doesn’t really give an atom’s worth of damn about who goes to the college playoff, our path is clear. Type “CLEMSON,” and then let the cruelties of nature take their vicious course.
So it begins.
1. MISSOURI’S STRIKING FOOTBALL PLAYERS (1-0 on good intentions alone): At some point enough has to be enough has to be too much to endure. May their cause endure.
2. CLEMSON (9-0, 5-4, 5-4): Beat Florida State, didn’t cover or beat the total. Dabo, you shame the nation, and this is a nation that thinks putting Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live can save either entity.
3. OKLAHOMA STATE (9-0, 6-3, 5-4): Beating TCU by 20 is slightly more impressive than, say, beating Memphis by 25, which is why these guys are one rung higher than . . .
4. NAVY (7-1, 6-2, 4-4): With a bullet . . . okay, an anchor. Next big deal – taking down Houston the day after Thanksgiving.
5. HOUSTON (9-0, 6-3, 4-4-1): Not covering against Cincinnati makes me like Navy all the more. Then again, I don’t much care for Navy, so it’s not like this is a major reputational achievement.
6. THOMAS MORE (10-0): Edged Case Western Reserve, but still (and always) a heavy underdog to Henry VIII.
7. ANNA MARIA (1-8): Beating Gallaudet (0-8) may not seem like much to you, you philistines, but being bad all year and then mustering one mighty effort to be not bad matters too. Down with nothing but huge football teams with schools attached for tax reasons! Down with athletic bloat! Down with fan bases fueled entirely by money, alcohol and smugness! Down with the tyranny of success!
8. ALABAMA (8-1, 4-5, 3-6): Put the strap to LSU. Up with nothing but huge football teams with schools attached for tax reasons! Up with athletic bloat! Up with fan bases fueled entirely by money, alcohol and smugness! Up with the tyranny of success!
9. MILLERSVILLE (1-9): Another team that defied its seasonal pedigree to curb-stomp another team (Cheyney State, 0-10) with the exact same pedigree. Up with down!
10. OHIO STATE (9-0, 3-6, 2-7): Only so we can point out that Michigan State lost to Nebraska, reminding us of the Monty Python episode called “The Cycling Tour” in which Michael Palin is sent to be executed by firing squad with the punch line being, “How could you miss?”
11. JEFF LONG EXPLAINS HOW THE PLAYOFF COMMITTEE CAME UP WITH ITS TEAMS (0-forever): He’d really be more convincing just coming to the podium, saying, “These are the four, jackals, now piss off,” dropping trout and jump-stepping off the stage.
12. STANFORD (8-1-, 7-2, 4-5): A lot of pressure on the fan base, and it grows as people keep waiting for someone to be upset that the Cardinal aren’t thought of as playoff material.
13. MONTANA (5-4): Beat Idaho State because this happened.
13. KANSAS (0-9, 2-7, 5-4): As we always say, if you can’t win, cover. If you can’t cover, don’t cover a lot. Jayhawks are go!
14. BAYLOR (8-0, 4-3, 5-3): Did nothing Saturday, but at least their long snapper isn’t running the Rocky Mountains today.
15. OTTAWA REDBLACKS (12-6): Second-year expansion team wins divisional title with 40-year-old quarterback (Henry Burris), which makes head coach Rick Campbell the next Marc Trestman.
16. VANDERBILT (3-6, 6-3, 0-8-1): Lost to Florida, 9-7, and had a hell of a lot more fun than the Gators did.
17. WEBBER INTERNATIONAL (6-4): Beat something called Newport News Apprentice School, which I imagine is like beating Wyotech.
18. CRYSTAL PALACE (6-5-1 by American W-L-T standings): Beat Jurgen Klopp, which is like beating Bradley Cooper.
19. CHELSEA (3-7-2, a paint factory fire): One rung below a team owned by a chef, and one above a team whose fans have hated the owner in ways that would make Jed York faint in amazement.
20. WISCONSIN-STOUT (3-6): They’re named after a beer, for God’s sake. What more do you need?
21. OLD DOMINION (4-5, 1-7-1, 4-4-1): You never forget your first cover – even if it is against . . .
22. TEXAS SAN ANTONIO (1-8, 4-5, 5-4).
23. ORLANDO MAGIC (3-4, 7-0, 3-4): What have we told you time and time again about the value of always covering?
24. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (0-6, 0-6, 2-4): What have we told you time and time again about the value of never covering?
25. SAN JOSE SHARKS (7-7, 7-7, 7-6): The very definition of a modern major mediocrity.
And until next week, go away.